Child Welfare Notification

Contact information

Forms

More information

Persons with duty to notify (Child Welfare Act 25)

A child welfare notification is made when it is necessary to investigate the need for child welfare on account of the child’s need for care, circumstances endangering the child’s development, or the child’s behaviour.

A child welfare notification is made when it is necessary to investigate the need for child welfare on account of the child’s need for care, circumstances endangering the child’s development, or the child’s behaviour.

For example, potential causes for concern include:

  • violence towards the child
  • domestic violence
  • substance abuse of the parents
  • substance abuse of the child
  • the child does not attend school
  • the child’s basic needs are not being taken care of sufficiently: for example, the child is hungry or does not wear appropriate clothing
  • the child’s behaviour is unusual: for example, the child is very withdrawn, apathetic, or overly aggressive

An anticipatory child welfare notification must be made if a person who has the duty to notify has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child will need supportive child welfare measures immediately after birth.

Immediately contact Social Emergency Services if:

  • you suspect that a child is being mistreated
  • a child is unexpectedly left without adult supervision
  • a parent is highly intoxicated in the presence of the child

Who can submit a child welfare notification?

Child welfare notifications can be made by both private persons and by public officials. Public officials have the duty to notify and to do this in person, whereas a private person can choose to submit a child welfare notification anonymously. The client has the right to know who made the child welfare notification if it has been submitted by a public official, or if the identity of the notifier becomes known.                                             

How to submit a child welfare notification?

By sending mail to Social Emergency Services:

Turun sosiaalipäivystys
PL 364
20101 Turku
Fax (02) 2626 626

Or by calling:

  • Tel. (02) 262 6003, during office hours of the Social Emergency Services of the Welfare Division of the City of Turku (on weekdays from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm).
  • The emergency number 112, outside office hours, in urgent situations that require immediate intervention. The Emergency Call Centre will connect your call to Social Emergency Services.

You can call Social Emergency Services during office hours if you want to consult them in matters related to child welfare notifications.

What happens after the notification?

Child welfare notifications are necessary in order to detect child neglect, dangers threatening the child, or child abandonment as soon as possible, so that the child and the family can receive help. The aim of child protection is to safeguard the child’s best interests and to help families in situations where they have difficulties to manage on their own.

The social authorities have the duty to investigate every child welfare notification.

If the child’s situation requires urgent intervention, Social Emergency Services will immediately start investigating the child’s situation. If necessary, Social Emergency Services will implement urgent measures such as emergency placement of the child or open care placement of the child outside home.

Otherwise, during office hours, the situation will be discussed with the family and the family’s need for support will be evaluated.

If the child welfare notification is determined to be unfounded, the social worker will file the notification as unfounded.